Melbourne chief executive Peter Biggs has suggested "failings" of his agency's
Bonds 'Birthday Project' campaign have been turned into valuable lessons and
that failure needs to be embraced in a world where brands are more vulnerable
Speaking this week at the Future of Digital Advertising forum in Sydney, Biggs was adamant that in a digital marketing world where everything is in real time, "brands and organisations have nowhere to hide, and can go from fame to infamy in 10 days, 10 minutes, 10 seconds".
But he went on to say that, rather than shrinking away from this environment, brands and agencies needed to dive in head first.
"I'm going to talk about failure," he said. "In the modern advertising world which is filled with so many egos, talking about failure is counter culture.
"[But] if a brand
wants to be interesting, then it must provoke interesting and dangerous
conversations. There is huge risk involved and it means brands are more vulnerable
than ever, but it also makes brands interesting."
He admitted that much of the vulnerability stemmed from attempts by brands and agencies to understand and tackle digital.
"We pretend we know what's going on but we don't. We fuck it up all the time, but we know we need to be in this thing called digital. It takes us to the edge of things. All great trips start with failure. Opportunity is all about failure. It's where we learn, where we improve."
Biggs spoke in depth about his agency's recent Bonds campaign, which, while successful in some ways, suffered from a number of technical issues early on, leading to a torrent of negative comments online.
He said his agency took three learnings from the experience: "Firstly, digital is a dangerous adventure for agencies and clients, so client-agency relationships should be about rigour and forgiveness.
"Secondly, it's not what brands say that is important, it's what they do. And thirdly, brands need to think of themselves as newsrooms in an always-on world."
This article first appeared in the 08 February 2013 edition of AdNews, in print and on iPad. Click here to subscribe for more news, features and opinion.
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